USG Senate presents budget changes for next year

Data from 2017-2018 USG Budget
Steven Kramer | Daily Trojan

Two Student Affairs programming departments will receive no funding from Undergraduate Student Government next year, while the USC Concerts Committee  budget and USG staff salaries will go up, Treasurer Donielle Bunyard announced at Tuesday’s Senate meeting.

Last year, the Volunteer Center and the Leadership, Education and Development program received $73,250 and $19,000, respectively. If the budget passes at next week’s Senate meeting, these organizations will receive no funding from USG in the upcoming year.

“It was a little strange that professional staff members had to come to student government [for funding], so we thought it was more appropriate for Student Affairs to handle those costs,” Bunyard said. “[The decision to defund] was really a group effort. We felt that it was more appropriate for Campus Activities to fund those programs.”

In a memorandum released to USC Student Affairs, USG President Austin Dunn said the concern arose because professional staff members were required to present to a group of student leaders, as opposed to the typical peer student.

“The committee feels this does not coincide with the purpose of the student programming fee that comes from the students, is allocated by students and distributed for students to fund student-run programs and activities,” Dunn said.

Some of the 15 assemblies, including the Speaker’s Committee, Special Events Committee, Latina/o Student Assembly and the Black Student Assembly, were allocated more funding because it was reallocated from the Student Affairs programming departments.

The USC Concerts Committee’s proposed budget increased because safety issues cut this year’s Springfest short, according to Bunyard.

In the 2016-2017 school year, Concert Committee’s budget was $470,293. For the 2017-2018 school year, the committee would hold a $495,000 budget, a 5.25 percent increase.

Springfest was set to feature opening act Migos and headliner Rae Sremmurd, but was canceled when students were asked to evacuate two songs into Migos’ set. USC Fire Safety and Emergency Planning said that least 10,000 people attended the event and security was not prepared to handle the amount of people that attended.

“This year in particular, Concerts Committee had a really great lineup of people,” said Krystal Chavez, who served as USG Program Board Executive Director during the 2016-2017 school year. “They upped their security people, but it wasn’t enough for the amount of people in attendance.”

Senators will vote on the proposed budget at their meeting on April 25.

This article has been updated to reflect the status of the budget proposal. The official budget has not yet been agreed upon, and will be voted on next week.